As we live in the digital age, we need to adapt our digital marketing tactics as an ever-changing fluid strategy. You need a strong marketing team that understands the demands of following and competing with social media marketplace trends.
In This Article;
- The History of Marketing Funnels
- Examples of Traditional V’s Digital Sales
- What’s Changed in Digital Marketing Funnels?
- The Bounce Rate
- Voice Technology
- Do Likes and Followers Equal Sales?
- Content is King in 2020
- Is it Circular or Funnel Shaped?
Understanding Marketing in the Digital Age
The History of Marketing Funnels
Converting to a digital marketing funnel may seem an intimidating prospect, so let’s look back at the history of marketing funnels.
There has been a significant shift in the past 20 years in how consumers shop and how they locate their preferred products. The pre-internet pattern was;
Awareness of a product – customer considers purchase – the customer buys a product.
Examples of Marketing Funnels
It’s 1998, and I need to buy a book as a gift for my golfing enthusiast father. I find the address of two local bookstores in my local newspaper.
I drive to the two local bookstores; one has signage in the storefront offering ‘buy one get a second half off.’ I browse the sports section for a book on golf and find two I like. A natural choice, I bought the two books, and I was pleased that I got a bargain!
The counter staff gift wrapped the books for me for free. I decide on impulse to browse further and buy two more books the staff recommend.
Marketing funnels worked to a predictable pattern before the digital age.
The funnel moved prospective buyers from awareness-interest-to desire, and finally to action.
Mass marketing – advertise in local papers.
Interest – Sales Offers in Store.
Desire – Customer Considers a Purchase.
Action – Customer Buys Products.
Now it’s 2020, and I need to buy another gift for my golf enthusiast father.
I open my smartphone and search ‘golf gifts for dads.’ I’m presented with 1000’s of options. I browse the first few websites, and then I see a golf store Golfwithus.com with 50% off golf putters. That seems like a good deal, so I click Buy and leave them in the Cart while I go check out the product.
I open a second browser window, search the golf club’s brand, and read the online reviews. I check the brand’s Facebook page, see lots of good reviews, and link it to a special offer in another online golf store. I also copy and share one of the funny videos on the Facebook page with my friends. I canceled the original golfwithus.com order.
I open the link from Facebook to a second website and find it has 60% off the same golf putter and free next day delivery. I quickly buy the putter for my Dad in the online store.
What I did not do was leave the comfort of my house to browse at the local golf store. I didn’t see the company website or any social media presence. That local store also had 50% off the same golf club.
What’s Changed in Digital Marketing Funnels?
Prospects are walking themselves through the funnel, then walking in the door ready to buy. In both B2B and B2C businesses, customers are doing their own research online.
Everyone has the internet in their pocket.
In 2019 1.37 Billion smartphones were sold worldwide.
A 2016 USA study showed that 88.5% of the population used the internet.
The speed of internet connections has increased year on year since fiber broadband arrived. The world is connected by 3G, 4G, and now 5G. This speed eliminates wait times for a website to load; it also allows you to open as many websites or social media platforms as you want.
Caroline Donahue, CMO at Intuit, oversees numerous web-based products. Donahue says the funnel changes because “with cross-sell and up-sell, you move from awareness to action instantaneously.”
The Bounce Rate
A ‘bounce’ happens when someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. This is tied into Google’s analytics of your website.
It is very important to keep the bounce rate low. How you keep people interested in your site long enough for them to purchase is the key to a successful digital market funnel.
Your website needs to be fool-proof for sales. It needs to look and feel contemporary. Your marketing team should be making constant small adjustments to keep it up to date and user friendly.
The days of expecting clients to navigate a complicated sales website are over.
Sales through voice-activated software (Alexa / Siri / Hey Google) are likely to be + 20% in 2020 and growing year on year.
This will require monitoring as voice-activated software requires additional information. Adding words such as ‘near me’ is something that businesses will have to address.
Google can handle two keywords, but voice-activated searches will ‘listen’ to a full sentence.
Do Likes and Followers Equal Sales?
One of the most challenging aspects of digital marketing sales is finding the balance between content marketing costs and sales revenue.
Luxury brands will often have millions of followers, but not millions of customers. However, without that brand awareness, they will fall out of fashion with those who can afford the products.
A good example of a successful digital marketing strategy is the Oreo cookies brand. Oreos have over 40million online followers—more than fashion behemoth H&M.
Oreo grew in popularity as they produce daily video content, including how you can make a fun dessert or drink using Oreo cookies.
This requires a large marketing team, but it also translates into worldwide sales of an affordable product. In New York or Tokyo, you can buy a pack of Oreo Cookies.
In 2019 the Oreo brand reached $3.1 Billion in net sales globally.
Its standard cookie sells twice as much as the nearest competitor in the USA.
This success is down to an aggressive marketing strategy online. Understanding who their consumer is and what life stage they are at.
Content is King in 2020
You need to speculate to accumulate and grow your output.
Spread across multiple social media sites and produce regular content.
Keep them interested, understand what your target audience likes; sport, art or cooking, etc.
Reacting to trends is vital. What’s everybody talking about on social media?
B2B email sales need to be 1:1 and personal. No more generic mass marketing.
Is it Circular or Funnel Shaped?
While the marketing world tries to keep ahead of the game, new maps of marketing techniques are cropping up. The fast-paced changes are creating difficulty for companies.
The circular ‘Customer Decision Journey’ is the connection between purchase and advocacy. Where the CDJ fails for some experts, is that advocates do not equal sales.
You may have a lot of advocates for your company online, but it’s not guaranteed revenue streams.
In 2020, round, funnel, or spiral, one truth that’s universal and cannot be ignored is that it’s no longer a linear market funnel, it’s ever-changing and evolving.
Engaging potential buyers to garner interest in your sales website long enough for them to purchase is the key to a successful digital market funnel.
If you enter a website and search for an item, and it’s not visible in a few clicks, you will leave and move on to the next site in approximately 2 minutes.
Imagine a Sales Rep. trying to sell a product to a new client in 2 minutes.
This is why a strong marketing team is essential to a successful business
Do you think the Digital Marketing Funnel is the best option for marketing teams?
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